If you’re having an initial moment of “How on earth do I do that?” when someone asks you “Have you cleared you cache?” don’t worry. It doesn’t need to be complicated and below you’ll find some helpful instructions on ‘how to’.
First thing’s first though, what do we mean by cache? It sounds technical, what is it?
“A cache (pronounced CASH) is a place to store something temporarily in a computing environment.”(Search Storage)
And what does it do?
When you visit a website your browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Google Chrome) fetches all the assets (page content etc.) needed to display the page via the internet. A browser cache saves these assets (such as images) temporarily so when you revisit the page your browser doesn’t need to re-fetch them. This helps to speed up load times and makes browsing the web quicker.
A good example of this is a website logo, it’s likely to be at the top of every page on that site, so instead of downloading it for each new page you visit, the browser’s cache will enable it to be downloaded once and stored to display each time a new page is viewed.
Does everyone need to worry about their browser cache?
The short answer is no. The average person browsing the web does not need to worry about clearing their browser cache. It is usually only if you are editing a website’s content that you would want to check the updates, and so may need to clear the browser cache in order to view the changes immediately.
Why do we need to clear it sometimes?
Browsers aren’t perfect and can get confused. If a page has been updated, a browser may not know that it is now displaying out of date content.
For example, a website’s logo has been cached, but since then the logo has been updated with a new version. The browser doesn’t necessarily know that anything has changed, so by clearing the cache, you are forcing the browser to look at the newly updated page.
I’ve detailed step-by-step instructions on how to clear the cache in some of the most common browsers.
Now onto Mobile Browsers
Chrome for Android
Open the Chrome app
Tap More More and then Settings
Under "Advanced," tap Privacy and then Clear browsing data
At the top, tap the dropdown under "Clear data from the."
Choose a time period, such as past hour or past day. To delete everything, select beginning of time
Select the types of information you want to remove
Tap Clear data
Firefox for Android
Go to Settings
Select ‘Clear private data’ heading and then tap Clear now
Select ‘Cache’ and ‘Offline website data’
Press button ‘Clear data’
Default Android Internet App
Open the browser
Click the generic options button on device (e.g. on Samsung S3 Mini it is the bottom left button)
Tap on Privacy and security
Tap the option to Clear cache
Tap to OK warning dialog
Safari for iOS
Launch the iOS Settings app
Tap Clear History and Website Data
Chrome for iOS
Launch the Chrome app
Tap the Menu icon, which is shown as 3 lines, then tap Settings
Tap Clear Cache and Clear Cookies, Site Data
IE for Windows
Open Internet Explorer
Tap the More button
Tap Delete history
Tap Delete to confirm
I hope the instructions I’ve covered have helped, and you’ve managed to clear your cache successfully. If not, there are a number of more complex things which could be affecting your view, but we’ll have to touch on those at a later date.